Catwoman #3 – Joelle Jones, Writer/Artist; Fernando Blanco, Artist; Laura Allred, John Rauch, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Corrina: Characterization Is Good But There Are Pacing Issues
Ray: DC continues to have trouble with their top-tier art teams, as Joelle Jones’ third issue of Catwoman picks up a fill-in artist in Fernando Blanco. He’s only on a few pages and does a good job of fitting his style in with the rest of Jones’ pages, but it’s still a shame that so many books as of late can’t keep a consistent art team. The story in this issue continues to be strong, splitting the action between Selina’s battle to establish herself in Villa Hermosa and the villain’s manipulations of her family. As the issue opens, Selina is meeting with the younger Mr. Creel, the city’s most powerful crime boss. Selina’s on the trail of her murderous impostors, while Creel is only willing to make her one offer – join his crime syndicate and continue to operate under his approval or die. She quickly turns him down, and the first half of the issue descends into an elaborate fight scene that ends with Selina crashing on top of her car right out a window. Joelle Jones is clearly from the old school of grindhouse action comics, and it shows in this action segment.
I didn’t think the segment focusing on the villain was quite as strong. Raina, the wife of Governor Creel, has been hit hard by her husband’s cancer announcement and retirement. We know that she’s a cobbled-together mess of a woman who had extensive procedures – far beyond plastic surgery – but we never knew much about her until now. What she reveals while in bed with her husband is nothing short of monstrous – maybe too much so. She reveals a story of coming from a low-income background, stealing from a charity, and being taken in by a pastor and his wife as a teenager. She’s raised alongside their two daughters – until she slowly poisons them and then frames his wife for the murders. She marries the grieving man, kills him, and inherits his money. She’s probably one of the most monstrous villains I’ve ever seen in a DC book, and the multi-page segment showing her crimes feels a bit out of place in a DC book. However, Jones sticks the landing in a big way by bringing back one of the elements of Selina’s past – from way back in the Brubaker/Cooke run – that a lot of fans never thought we’d see again. Very intrigued by how this new character will factor in.
Corrina: Selina’s characterization is good, at least in the scenes where she’s confronting the crime boss and attempting to finish her business in this crime-ridden place. But not so good every time it calls back to her weird fleeing from the marriage to Bruce which I still think had an idiotic writer-imposed reason. But I digress…
I like Selina’s call back to her past and her unwillingness to let anything get in the way of her mission, though I remain confused as to how creating a bunch of imposters was the best way to stop her. As for our villain, Selina’s story feels like it’s in a separate universe than Raina’s story. I think we’re working up to Raina perhaps being a dark mirror of Selina, with Raina and her husband being a parallel to Selina and Bruce, save that Selina cares about Bruce and isn’t, well, a monster. But maybe we’re not working up to that and I’m just grasping at straws.
This is a stylish book, even with the fill-in art. But the pacing has been a little slow and the story elements aren’t quite integrated yet.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.